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Kings Cup Drinking Game Rules

I love playing Kings Cup with a group of friends. It's a great way to be silly and have fun at the end of a long week.

Learn all about how to play the drinking game Kings, also known as Kings Cup.

Learn all about how to play the drinking game Kings, also known as Kings Cup.

It's rare that I find something which isn't well-explained on Wikipedia, but the rules of drinking games are so nebulous and contested, it's impossible for an authoritative article to make any sense. Other websites are similarly in confusion about the rules of the Kings Cup (also called Kings) drinking game, and it is a complex game, so I thought I'd pen down the rules, ideas, and common variations of Kings Cup which I know.

The most important thing is to choose one rule set and stick with it, making sure everyone knows beforehand what set you are using.

Kings Drinking Game Rules

This would probably better be described as "my house rules," but they are a working variation which doesn't result in anyone puking or refusing to play, which makes them the best variation. These Kings Cup rules are ones that most people will know, even if they have used a different version previously. It is a common rule set and my favorite after six years of play.

  • First, everyone sits around a table. Preferably in low chairs or on the floor. In the center, a "penalty" drink is placed. It doesn't matter what it is—just something that could be chugged by the loser. I do NOT use the variation where you add things to this cup—there is no sense in making someone puke on the carpet at the end. Chugging is hard enough.
  • Spread a deck of cards in a circle around the penalty drink, face-down. All cards must touch the cards on either side. This is "the chain" of cards.
  • You are now ready to play.
  • Someone flips a card, and from there go clockwise around the circle with people flipping cards and performing the instructions which go with it.
  • If you "break the chain" of cards, you must chug the drink in the center. This does not end the game, only using up all the cards ends the game.

Card Rules for Kings

2. "You" — Point at someone, say "you," that person must drink.

3. "Me" — The person who drew this card must drink

4. "Floor" — Everyone must slap the floor. If you are already on the floor, you must double-tap. The last person to do so must drink.

5. "Guys" — All men drink

6. "Chicks" — All women drink

7. "Heaven" — Reach for the stars. The last person to do so must drink.

8. "Mate" — Choose a "mate" who must now drink whenever you drink. This is one-directional, you do not have to drink when they drink. It can be chained, ex- if Bob is my mate and I am Sally's mate, when sally drinks then I drink then Bob drinks.

9. "Rhyme" — Go around the circle rhyming one word. The person who drew chooses the word. No silver, orange, purple, or other stupid junk. First long hesitation or failure is the loser and must drink.

10. "Categories" — The person who drew chooses a category, and then everyone must name something in it. Example:

"States, Maine."




"Uhhhh....." <<< This person must drink.

Jack. "Never have I ever" — Everyone holds up three fingers. The person who drew says, "Never have I ever _____________ " and everyone who has done it puts down a finger. Then the next person says, "Never have I ever _________" The first person to lose all their fingers must drink. It is allowed to say something you actually have done, and put down a finger on your own turn if you wish.

Queen. "Questions" — There are two versions of this, which are both worthy of inclusion.

The first is more like "Rhyme." The person who drew the card asks, a question, and the next person must answer it with a question. Ex: "Are you a woman?"—"Why would you ask such a thing?"—"Who asked you that?"—"Who asked me what?" The first person to hesitate or fail to deliver a question must drink.

Queens version 2: This is more like "never have I ever." The person who drew the card must answer a question from each person in the circle. If they fail to answer one, they must drink and their turn is over. If they answer every question, everyone else in the circle must drink.

King. "Make up a new rule" — Your rule may cancel an existing rule. I go into some ideas for this below.

Ace. "Waterfall" — The person who drew the Ace begins to drink, then the person after them, then the next person, etc. until everyone in the circle is drinking. Then the first person stops, then the second, third, and so on. The point being that you cannot stop drinking before the person ahead of you.

Common New Rules for King Cards

  • The little man: There is a man standing on your drink. You must remove him before drinking and replace him after, or else drink again.
  • No first names: Anyone who uses a name must drink.
  • Every sentence must be a your mom joke—gets old fast.
  • Any time someone touches their nose, everyone else must do it as well. The last person to notice and touch their nose must drink.
  • The person who asks the most PC or least difficult never have I ever or Queens question must drink.

© 2012 Tealparadise


BernardLichaa on May 20, 2020:

If you have an android, I recommend you to download this app:

It is the King's cup game, very easy to use and offers a variety of truth and dares questions, never have I ever questions, and much more

Conor Beard on July 09, 2018:

Well I don’t know what to say but I am going to do something right now I am sorry

Ainsley Beard on July 07, 2018:

I think that it is fine

Alex on June 11, 2015:

This is stupid. Play with Mohnish...he's got better rules bro

Flippa on July 26, 2013:

I don't see the point in calling this King's Cup unless you mix together peoples drinks in the empty cup in the middle. That is where the name comes from. If you draw a King, you pour a third of your drink in. Without this, most people I know call this game Circle of Death.

Ryan Rafferty on April 07, 2013:

I love this game! Nice hub, as you said Wikipedia sometimes can be a bit vague on drinking game because of how many rule sets there are and how they can be so varied, nice hub!